Rossendale Free Press
Maxine is fighting for justice
You may not have heard of World Productions, but you’re sure to have watched something the company has made since it began back in 1990.
It was founded by groundbreaking actor-turnedproducer Tony Garnett and has since been behind such popular series as This Life, Line of Duty, The Bletchley Circle, Bodyguard, The Pembrokeshire Murders, Vigil and recent hit Showtrial.
All these dramas have combined compelling tales with fascinating characters, and the same can be said of its latest project Anne (Sunday, ITV, 9pm), which is based on the true story of Anne Williams.
Had her son Kevin not had a ticket for the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989, we would never have heard of her.
Instead, after he died due to injuries incurred during the crush in the Leppings Lane end of the Hillsborough stadium, she became a tireless campaigner for truth and justice, not only for Kevin, but on behalf of all those who lost their lives.
ITV’s head of drama, Polly Hill, commissioned a four-part miniseries about Anne, who refused to believe the official account of what happened.
Kevin Sampson penned the screenplay. He was at the match himself and is the author of Hillsborough Voices, which features interviews with many witnesses to both the tragedy and its aftermath, including Anne.
“From the first time I spoke to Anne I was struck by her steely determination,” he reveals. “Nothing and nobody was going to deter her from her ultimate aim – justice for Kevin and those who died with him at Hillsborough.
“Anne’s is a story of a mother’s love being stronger than any opponent or obstacle. She refused to lie down, and it’s an honour that her family has entrusted us with telling her inspirational story.”
Anne lived long enough to see the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel published, which established the truth in 2012; she passed away the following year following a battle with cancer.
The drama, which sees Maxine Peake play her, reveals how Anne, despite having no legal training, successfully campaigned against the original inquest’s findings. It’s been backed by members of her family, including her daughter Sara, who has assisted Sampson.